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Environment, Health and Safety Research

The TRACER-Project: Toxicological Assessment and Functionalisation of Carbon Nanotubes

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorW. Schutz
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Hazard
Risk Assessment
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Fundingn/a
Annual Fundingn/a
Funding SourceBMBF
Funding MechanismExtramural
Funding SectorMultiple
Start Year
Anticipated End Year


Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) and Carbon Nanofibres (CNF) are already said to be key materials of the 21st century making breakthroughs possible and, further on, probably in central fields of technology life chemistry, automotive and aerospace. The emerging industrial production of Carbon Nanomaterials is likely to develop further fields of technology and, thus, pave the way towards a variety of mass applications.

The joint project TRACER targets on the biocompatibility assessment of the exemplary value chain production – processing – semifinished products – functional models of Carbon Nanomaterials based PEEK (Polyether-Etherketone) and PUR (Polyurethane) composite materials. Primarily, questions on the cytotoxicity of Carbon Nanomaterials are to be answered.

In order to be able to refer the cytotoxicity to standardized material properties, a broad chemophysical characterization of the investigated materials is undertaken. In parallel, several simulation tools are adapted for the reception and distribution paths of Carbon Nanomaterials in human organisms facilitating a prognosis of the dose impact correlation. A third main activity is concerned with the challenging measurement of the amount and size distribution of particles released as a result of the processings along the value chain.

The experience gained in TRACER form the base for a profound risk assessment of Carbon Nanomaterials and, consequently, for recommendations on the handling and the processing of the Carbon Nanomaterials along the value chain. In addition, recommendations are given on the use of derived and consumer products.